Thursday, August 6, 2009

BC Government sets 2007 GHG emission baseline

BLUEFUELENERGY.COM: On July 30 BC Environment Minister Barry Penner and Minister of State for Climate Action John Yap reaffirmed the BC Government’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions by releasing the British Columbia Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report 2007. According to the report, in 2007, BC emitted 67.3 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions measured in carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). Trends in GHG emissions in BC show a 21% increase from 1990, a 7.6% increase since 1997, and a 3.8% increase since 2006.

2007 was established under the provincial Greenhouse Gas Reductions Target Act as the base year for calculation of GHG emissions targets. The Act puts into law BC’s target of reducing GHGs by at least 33% below 2007 levels by 2020 and includes the long-term target of an 80% reduction below 2007 levels by 2050.

Complying with the Act it created is a daunting task for the BC Government. On a page of its LiveSmart BC website discussing BC’s greenhouse gas emissions, the government recognizes that the two primary drivers for the growth in GHG emissions since 1990 are population growth and expansion of the natural gas industry. Although the industry did boom from 1990 to 2007, it is now poised for a gas boom to end all gas booms as a result of natural gas discoveries in the Horn River Basin in northeastern BC. Indications are that the Horn River discovery is the largest discovery of natural gas in Canadian history.

Given the demise of the forest industry in BC and other economic shortcomings that have resulted in substantial revenue shortfalls for the government, the prospect of exploiting the natural gas resources of the Horn River Basin is enticing. Too enticing for the government to ignore. That said, the processing of natural gas generates huge volumes of carbon dioxide. Too much carbon for the government to ignore. A dilemma indeed.

Fortunately, there is a solution—producing Blue Fuel/DME using wind energy—which is also abundant in northeastern BC—and waste carbon dioxide from natural gas processing. Energy synergy at its finest. The BC Government has been apprised of this opportunity to make BC a wind energy powerhouse, a natural gas powerhouse—and a Blue Fuel/DME powerhouse. It will be fascinating to see how the government responds. Stay tuned to this blog for more.

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